Following yesterday’s NHS England board meeting, new implementation guidance was published today relating to the 17 items considered in the Evidence Based Interventions (EBI) programme. We have been working in collaboration with NHS England, NICE, CQC, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the relevant Royal Colleges on this important area of work for commissioners and the wider health system. It is a first step to identify current NHS spend that could be better utilised for higher priority areas, such as primary care and mental health.
Dr Graham Jackson, co-chair of NHS Clinical Commissioners and Clinical Lead at Buckinghamshire ICS, said: “This ambitious programme of evidence-based work has looked a range of procedures that should not be provided or only provided on the NHS in certain circumstances.
“As clinical commissioners we have a responsibility to make sure the operations we are offering on the NHS are the most appropriate treatments for each condition. This means ensuring they are safe for patients, deliver good outcomes for patients and, crucially, are clinically effective. The evidence shows that these 17 procedures – including snoring surgery and tonsillectomy for sore throats – only work in certain circumstances and that exposure to an unnecessary operation can have harmful side effects which is why NICE has recommended they should be used as a last resort, and we are supporting that.
“By reducing these inappropriate procedures we can provide better care and outcomes to our patients whilst reducing variation and securing the very best value so that limited NHS funding can be spent where it is most needed.”
Four of the interventions, such as surgery to prevent snoring, will now only be offered in exceptional circumstances, while a longer list of thirteen interventions such as breast reduction surgery or the removal of benign skin lesions will be offered when specific clinical criteria are met. The move will free up resources so they can be directed elsewhere and reduce risks to patients by cutting out up to 100,000 unnecessary procedures.
The guidance and supporting information can be found on the NHS England website.
29 November 2018